- 1 Description
- 2 Cast
- 3 Background
- 4 The State of the World
- 5 Groups and Factions
- 6 Chakra
- 7 Trailblazers
It all started with Moondust.
Not that powdery white regolith covering the lunar surface. A purple-tinged mineral concealed so deep within the lunar rock layer that no human mind would ever have known it existed had it not been for the aliens who came to mine it. They cracked the moon open with their weapons to get at the Moondust inside, inciting a war with humanity which eventually claimed the entirety of both species.
Or so the story is told.
Thanks to the Ark Project, humanity survived. One hundred years after the end of the world, mankind has emerged once again on the surface of the Earth, guided by the supercomputer ‘Mother’. But they have not come alone.
Explorers. Champions. Avengers. They are called Blazers.
A group of women: Genetically hyper-engineered; cyber-enhanced; fused with Moondust; wielding powers never before seen by human science; carrying weapons that fuse human ingenuity with alien technology. The Blazers were designed in the final days of humanity to be the guardians of Neo-Humanity, exploring the ravaged planet they call home and cataloguing the changes that have taken place over the past century.
But the Blazers weren’t designed just to explore a changed planet.
The original eight Blazers died in the final days of the War, fighting savagely to buy time for the Ark Project’s completion. The new Blazers have been born to safeguard the Ark’s children against all threats—crazed mutants, vicious wildlife, insidious cultists, and the constant threat that the Rastala may some day return.
For future reference, this is the theme page for the currently retired Crimson Blaze-1 theme.
The Cracked Moon
The Rastala introduced themselves to Humanity by not introducing themselves. The first hint that alien life had arrived at Earth was a great flash in the night sky. Billions watched the perfect silver disc of the moon split open like a walnut, scattering glittering dust across the night sky.
There were no responses to any attempt at communication. No acknowledgement at all that sapient life resided on Earth. As the planet was bombarded with debris from the cataclysmic explosion—ranging in size from tiny grains of dust to slabs of rock as large as skyscrapers—the governments of humanity united. Modified intercontinental missiles were used to launch a counter-strike against the aliens who seemed to be so interested in what was left of the moon. That got their attention.
To be honest, humanity probably could have survived if they hadn’t provoked the Rastala. There was no way to know what the alien motivation was, though. The united governments took their actions as an act of war and responded in kind. The missile attack drew the Rastala fleet from the moon to Earth itself. That’s when the real war began.
The war against the Rastala was nothing like fiction had painted any confrontation humanity would have with hostile alien life. There was no elite force of commandos with nothing left to lose. There was no giant robot piloted by teenagers with attitudes. The governments of the world united against the threat and fielded the world's most advanced war machines: Aircraft carriers, tanks, and cruise missiles.
Against the Rastala, they may as well have been bows and arrows.
Not only was the alien technology leagues ahead of Earth's, the creatures themselves seemed uniquely suited to causing vast destruction. A single Rastala adult destroyed most of Manhattan, prompting the United States to drop a nuclear bomb on New York City. This killed the monstrous alien, but also warned them that the humans had a weapon capable of threatening them.
They spread out. Their attacks became less concentrated. Country after country disappeared. Mankind could fight back, but the species was fighting a losing war—and the public knew it. It wouldn't be long before the entire race ceased to exist.
Early in the war with the Rastala, it was determined that conventional weapons weren't effective enough. Scientists moved on to studying ways to get around the aliens' natural and technological defenses, and as such, eventually turned to biological and chemical weapons. Early tests were a resounding failure, as no known poisons could kill a Rastala fast enough, or could be produced in enough quantities to be toxic to them. These tests only succeeded in claiming an impressive civilian death toll in every site they were conducted.
The bioweapons division fared a little better. After numerous tests, they managed to synthesize a bacterium capable of interfacing with Rastala cells in the late stages of the war. This was fielded before any further testing could be done, an act of pure desperation. It was successful at first, infecting numerous front line Rastala siege-breakers. However, the effects quickly dwindled within the following month.
The ultimate result is far less attractive.
The engineered bacteria, incapable of contending with Rastala immune systems, turned on more vulnerable targets and began infecting any Earth-born organic life form it came into contact with. Animals, plants, and humans alike suffered mutagenic side effects and ultimately horrible deaths. In extreme cases, the victims even exploded into a grotesque heap of infectious biomatter.
The war against the Rastala lasted one year, with the situation rapidly growing more and more grim with each passing day. In the final stages, a large portion of Earth had been destroyed; nuclear fallout rained down in thick clouds of ash; volcanos, triggered by numerous nuclear blast waves, filled the sky with even more debris; Lunar debris continued to rain down in dense showers; the 'Plague' continued to spread through remaining populations like wildfire; Rastala weapons incinerated the landscape, irradiating it for what was presumed to be decades…
The remaining national government and military command structure reached a decision: "If we're going down, we're taking every last one of them with us."
That was the day the Earth died; the day when every remaining nuclear warhead on Earth was launched. There was no hemisphere that did not have several hundred mushroom clouds rising within it. The atmosphere literally caught fire, that day.
The good news is that the Rastala were either completely destroyed or driven back so hard that they have decided never to return.
The bad news is there were no survivors.
The Ark Project
That is not the end of the story for humanity, though.
A decade before the Rastala ever appeared, an international committee predicted the course of human politics. Numerous wars and accidents threatened the population on a massive scale, and so it was decided to build a backup plan. This decision began what has since been known as the Ark Project.
At its core, the Ark Project is simply a massive underground cloning and manufacturing facility. Located deep underground where not even the most determined bombs, nerve agents, or biological contaminants could reach it, the Ark Project facility is the culmination of ten years of research into adult cloning and digital teaching. The aliens were a bit of a surprise which pushed up the schedule significantly, but also necessitated new developments and changes in the fundamental groundwork of the Project.
The scientists working on the Ark facility knew that it would have to be undetectable. The Rastala had, throughout the course of the war, demonstrated incredible talent for tracking and exposing pockets of human survivors. And so the facility was designed to be incredibly hard to find: No moving parts, only the bare minimum of active electronic systems, and no support staff once it was online. It would show up only as an empty cavern miles beneath the Earth's crust.
After a period of one hundred years, the Ark would activate. It would churn out enough 'Neo Humans' to maintain a stable breeding population and digitally implant the knowledge necessary to restart civilization. Its manufacturing facility would come online at the same time, producing raw materials, clothing, and more importantly: Weapons for self defense.
But there was no telling what condition the Earth would be in, even a century after the Rastala war. The scientists running the Ark Project recognized this. They feared that the Rastala would still be there, or that they would return. As such, the new priority of the Ark Project was not just to save Humanity, but to avenge it.
The results of this new initiative were named the Trailblazers.
The first breakthrough was the discovery of a new mineral within the lunar rocks hammering Earth in the aftermath of the Moon Cracking event. Referred to as Moondust, this material reacted with captured Rastala weapons and technology, allowing Ark Project scientists not only to study them, but repurpose them. Unfortunately, the nature of the weapons meant they were incapable of being used by humans even in their altered state.
The second breakthrough was the introduction of Moondust into the experimental cloning procedures being tested for the Ark Project's mission. The result started a testing line that would eventually result in the Trailblazers. Activated early purely for the purpose of study, the Ark Project science team was astounded by the capabilities of the subject. Further subjects were created, enhanced on the genetic level to produce 'super soldiers', further enhanced by Moondust.
Tests on the subjects yielded results far beyond expectations. They were not only capable of interfacing with captured Rastala weapons, they in fact could subtly manipulate unseen energy fields which allowed them to bend or even break the laws of physics. After some research on the subject, one of the prototype Blazers stated that 'Chakra' was the closest approximation to what they were doing.
The science team was understandably a little terrified by the implications this had.
During testing, it was found that all male subjects had a distressing tendency to develop god complexes, literally going mad with the power they wielded. This happened as well in female subjects, but at a much lower rate, and so it was decided that all Blazers would be female—engineered with safeguards that increase the loyalty and empathy they feel towards humans, but not to the level that it would conflict with the moral compass that's also been embedded on the genetic level.
It was decided that the Blazers would be the spearhead for humanity's return when the Ark Project actually began to fulfill its purpose. The original eight Blazers were each armed and armored, released into the world to buy time for the Ark Project's completion. None of them survived.
One hundred years later, their descendants emerged from the underground Ark. While the original Blazers fought back against an ever-encroaching twilight, the curtain that snuffed out humanity, the reborn Blazers raise the curtain again, ushering humanity back into the world.
Armed with weapons derived from the race that destroyed humanity, the Blazers would be the ones to both protect and avenge it.
The laboratory facility connected to the Ark Project was never meant to survive a bioweapon attack. In the last days of the War, as the atmosphere burned and people died in the billions, the Ark was at last sealed. It's said that the head of the project left the facility after the project was completed, watching the world burn while sitting on a hillside, waiting for disease or fire or radiation to overtake him.
One hundred years have passed since that day. Give or take a week.
Like clockwork, the facilities of the Ark rumbled to life one by one; the geothermal power systems, the cloning wing, the teaching facility, the manufacturing plant.
Humans emerged on the surface of Earth for the first time in a century to find a planet drastically different from before. A planet with hostile, mutated life forms and heavy radiation, rampant disease and hostile environments.
A planet that humans can barely survive in.
One by one, the Blazers are completed, emerging to fulfill their unified role of protection and vengeance.
The State of the World
The layout of continents and oceans on Earth is unrecognizable compared to the pre-War era. A big part of what the Neo-Humans and Blazers must do involves exploration and cataloguing of new or mutated species of both plants and animals. A number of regions have been mapped and catalogued in the immediate vicinity of the Ark, with further locations being explored on a daily basis.
- Enocia – The region immediately surrounding the Ark. Though possessing pockets with heavy radiation, it is mostly dominated by forest and grassland surrounded by high mountains. The forest has overtaken the city that used to occupy the land immediately above the Ark. These ancient, crumbling buildings can sometimes be havens for Vultures, and the inhabitants of the largest settlement in the region are constantly trying to ferret out and eliminate the gang. The biggest hazards in Enocia are the mutated wildlife and the weather—which often features highly acidic rain and violet thunderstorms. Pockets of radiation make exploration hazardous, and many Neo-Humans have died or are dying as a result.
- Enocia Canyons – The northern part of Enocia feeds into a complex canyon system that at one point hosted a fast-flowing river. The river has since dried up, leaving behind the gorge. There are numerous mineral deposits here. A small settlement has been built over the second largest Moondust deposit in the region. The single largest deposit, according to surveys, lies beneath the enormous tree of Drasil, which is inhabited by the larger of the two Dybbuk tribes. Negotiations to mine the Moondust have thus far been unsuccessful. Mutant wildlife and carnivorous plants are common in the canyons, especially around Drasil and Dybbuk Lake. Along with Dybbuk, there are numerous Vespine tribes in the canyons which are often at odds with them.
- Mereholt – Further north from Enocia, Mereholt is an enormous impact crater. Radiation readings indicate it was caused by Rastala weapons. Cloud cover is incredibly dense here, and the region is extremely cold and inhospitable. Mutant animals adapted to the environment do live within Mereholt. The Vultures are trying to expand into Mereholt as well, but have had trouble with the Iceborn and Earthborn residents. An enormous skeleton belonging to an adult Rastala occupies one ridge, its ribs creating bizarre formations that have resulted in the area being called the Fang Pass which leads southward into the Enocia canyons.
- Mereholt Ecozone – The very center of the Mereholt crater is not a frozen wasteland like the rest of the region. This is due to Bitterstone, a shield projection tower constructed recently which acts as an insulator against the icy tundra. As a result, the region around Bitterstone is akin to a rainforest and has become home to numerous mutant species, including Vespine, which the inhabitants of Bitterstone are constantly trying to eradicate.
- Frozen Plateau – A region of northern Mereholt covered in jagged glaciers and rock formations. The high winds here have prompted the inhabitants of Bitterstone to set up wind farms for power generation. Otherwise, the region is left entirely to its indigenous population of mutant bears and the Black Cabal. Fear of the Cabal is the main thing that keeps people from even trying to explore the glacial plateaus and jagged fissures along the crater's northern edge.
- Barbiron – This region south of Enocia was once a metropolis. The war and time have taken their toll on the numerous structures. Almost no building from the Old Earth is safe to occupy. The Vultures have an enormous presence here, scavenging and hiding within the ruins. Radiation levels in Barbiron are inconsistent, in some areas quite high while very low in others, which makes it hazardous to explore. The jungles of Enocia are only just starting to encroach on Barbiron, and so there isn't yet much presence of wildlife.
- Viledon – Walled off from western Enocia by mountains, Viledon can only be accessed via land travel through Barbiron. The region is very hostile and desert-like, covered in a thick blanket of powdery white sand. The mountains prevent cloud cover from crossing in from Enocia, and as a result the temperatures are often in the extremes depending on the time of day. Due to the excessively hostile environment, there are no human settlements in Viledon yet.
- Glen – Glen is the first major human settlement founded since the Ark began operation. It's a small fortress-like town nestled against the foothills of the mountains which form the barrier between Enocia and Viledon. Though it's the largest settlement, Glen is not without its problems. Disease, radiation, and acidic rain of the region take a constant toll on its Neo-Human population. Daily life is often a struggle to make ends meet, and even a minor injury may result in death.
- Hamal – Named for its founder, the settlement of Hamal is best described as a mining town. The humans who live here carve out a living harvesting minerals from the walls of the canyons or digging out the Moondust deposit beneath the town. They're regularly threatened by the Vultures and the hostilities of the Dybbuk tribes, in spite of the tentative peace agreement.
- Bitterstone – A tower constructed in the center of the Mereholt crater, Bitterstone acts as a focus for the shield unit that keeps the Mereholt Ecozone from freezing over. Though mostly an enormous mechanism, a small town has formed at the top which accesses ground level via short range teleporters. Bitterstone is also home to Bitterstone Core, the supercomputer which regulates and maintains the shield. As a side bonus, the shield also protects the town's human residents from Mereholt's otherwise wildly swinging radiation levels.
- Caergate – An underground facility located beneath Barbiron. Believed to have once been a military hanger, only a few cavernous rooms have been recovered and declared safe enough to occupy, this has become the second largest human settlement since the Ark began operation. It consists of hastily built structures inside the hanger-like rooms already secured. Citizens explore the surrounding city or attempt to map and recover more of the ancient facility. Common goals are to recover ancient technology or data on the old world. An example of the success at Caergate can be seen in the Stormchaser bike, now used by Blazers for speedy transportation.
The Ark is in full operation, but cannot sustain a population within itself. As a result, all humans are ferried to the surface when they are grown and their education is complete. The munitions plant and manufacturing plant are also in full swing, supplied by automated deep core mines further down in the Earth's crust. Regular shipments of materials are sent to a receiving facility on the surface via one-way teleporter. There is no physical connection between the Ark and the surface.
The Ark is also where all new Blazers are created, armed, and deployed from. They, too, are not permitted to return once they reach the surface due to the Ark's own limitations. There simply is no living space.
Within the Ark, surrounded by machinery and bio-engineering facilities, lies the self-aware supercomputer respectfully known as 'Mother'.
- Mother – The self-aware supercomputer at the heart of the Ark. Mother rarely speaks to Neo-Humans or Blazers directly, but rather through a series of identical holographic avatars collectively known as Isis. She is compassionate to the difficulties humans face and fiercely protective of them. She regards the Blazers as her daughters and relies on them to enact her will on the surface.
Neo-Humans and Blazers alike regard Mother with an almost religious reverence. This is not out of some blind dogma, but out of respect for the role she has played in giving them life. She is not felt to be omnipotent, though has many connections to the surface and is often asked for advice.
She's also present in many sayings and frustrated curses ("Mother knows how he pulled it off", "Mother damn it!", etc)
The Moon and the Ring
Lunar debris still rains down from time to time. Most of the larger pieces have either crashed down already or have fallen into mostly stable orbits, though. The pieces which do eventually descend are generally quite small. The smaller debris from the catastrophic moon-cracking event has formed into a disc-like ring around Earth, glittering white with faint purple hues at dawn and dusk.
The moon itself remains, mostly, a broken shell of its former self. It’s no longer a perfect silvery disc in the sky. The modern moon is permanently split into a jagged mockery of the romantic crescent of old, bearing a crack through its eastern hemisphere so severe that the moon’s inner layers are visible. The gorge itself is thousands of miles across from top edge to top edge. Spiderwebs of narrower canyon-like cracks are visible with the naked eye.
The moon serves as a reminder of the lost war against the Rastala and a grim warning that they may soon return. It also serves as a symbol for the shattered world that Neo-Humans and Blazers now struggle to reclaim.
At the right times of the month, the interior of the great crack can be seen more clearly. The lunar interior gives off a faint purple shine that contrasts sharply with its silvery white surface.
The source of this purple coloration in the moon’s inner layers and in the ring of lunar debris is a mysterious, previously unknown mineral termed Moondust. It’s found on Earth in small crystalline deposits of moon rocks that descended ages ago, or in smaller amounts on moon rocks that descend today. Moondust is unusually well suited to channeling energy, especially chakra, and more pure quantities create a stronger resonance. The first trace amounts discovered in the final days of the Ark Project research team were essential for the creation of the Blazers and their equipment.
Moondust is used to repair or improve Blazer equipment or to aid in Blazer medical care. It’s also necessary to build new Blazer equipment or to modify existing equipment to better interact with Blazer abilities. It also has a number of civilian applications and so securing even small deposits of Moondust is a very high priority. Though it wasn’t clear at the time, it’s currently believed that Moondust is the reason the Rastala attacked in the first place. The deposits visible in the great lunar canyon are truly enormous.
A human-developed technology that resulted from studying Rastala equipment during the war. Mechs were not developed soon enough to have had much of an impact on the war itself, they are now produced within the Ark’s manufacturing plant and shipped topside as needed. Though there are varieties of mechs designed for military purposes and can be piloted by Neo-Humans, the most common type is the multi-purpose Heron. Military mechs are used primarily by the Defense Force. The Freelanders almost exclusively use Herons. The Black Cabal and the Vultures are known to use mechs in various states of repair.
- Hawk – A mobile military Mech with limited flight capability. Its armament is moderate and its armor is light. The agility and speed of the Hawk are quite high as a result of its low weight.
- Buzzard – A heavy assault Mech. It features a heavy armament and heavy armor, which is matched by a low movement speed and poor agility. There are a variety of arm-mounted weapons to choose from.
- Heron – A multi-purpose utility Mech. The Heron can be fitted with a very wide variety of tools and equipment which enable it to fulfill a multitude of roles. It is poorly suited for combat, but excellent in applications such as mining, construction, or handling heavy cargo.
Groups and Factions
The Defense Force and the Freelanders
Within the first few months of Neo-Humans and Blazers emerging from the Ark, both groups began to arrange themselves under one of two political ideologies. The root of this division lies in the nature of the Blazers themselves.
The Defense Force consists mostly of the military arm of the Neo-Human community. The main rallying point in this political affiliation is the protection of humanity from all threats, foreign and domestic. The leaders of the Defense Force consider the Blazers themselves to be an enormous threat, considering the powers they each wield. The belief is that the Blazers are too powerful to be safely controlled, and that they should be destroyed as soon as threats such as the Rastala can be confirmed to no longer be threats to mankind as a whole. The Defense Force maintains that attachment should be avoided with the Blazers, to prevent any ethical concerns when the time comes to destroy them. The Defense Force is responsible for the widespread habit of referring to Blazers by their Class rather than by their self-appointed names.
The Freelanders are a movement of largely non-military Neo-Humans who are responsible for expansion and colonization of new regions, spreading the influence of their recovering species as far as they can. The general philosophy in the Freelanders is freedom, which goes in hand with their pioneering, expansionist movement. The belief amongst the Freelanders is that the Blazers are no different from any other human being and should be set free at the end of their service, allowed to live out their lives as they choose. Though some Freelanders refer to Blazers by their names, the majority has fallen into the Defense Force's habit of using their Class instead.
Basically, the divide between the Defense Force and the Freelanders boils down to one side trusting the Blazers while the other side does not. Though either party is formed of one group or another in particular, there are military members in the Freelanders and colonists in the Defense Force. It's all a matter of how much a given individual trusts the Blazers and how they feel the Blazers should be treated: As tools or as people.
The Blazers try to avoid this kind of politics as it tends to cause tempers to flare. However, the group as a whole tends to side with the Freelanders based on the fact that nobody really wants to die for doing their job right. This is something that the group as a whole has decided not to mention around Neo-Humans, for fear of causing an incident.
For most humans who emerged from the Ark, the world was harsh but not unconquerable. For a measurable percentage, though, the harsh and unforgiving world they were released into was too much. These malcontents split away from the core human settlements and gathered together into what are now called Vultures. This gang is largely lawless, humans living in anarchy and depravity. The Vultures are largely known for two things:
- Thievery – Vultures earn their name by their habit of scavenging rather than building. They don't just scavenge from the ruins of Old Earth, though. The gang often steals things from established Neo-Human settlements, including medicine and food, as well as building supplies and vehicles.
- Drugs – The Vultures formed out of a collective desire in their membership to escape the harsh reality of the world. The easiest way to do this is with drugs. Experimentation with mutated plants and synthetic compounds have resulted in numerous psychotropic drugs that all Vultures have become addicted to.
One particularly nasty drug is called Blitzkrieg. Users are often called Blitzers. Initially its effects are similar to other hallucinogens. Prolonged use, however, induces physical mutations. Long-time users of Blitzkrieg become less human over time, in many cases appearing to melt or decay off their own skeletons until their bodies can no longer stay together. In the later stages, Blitzers are generally referred to as Ghouls. Blitzkrieg can also be found affecting animals around Vulture dens, giving them a similar ghastly appearance and the same eventual demise.
The Black Cabal
The Black Cabal is the result of Mother's earliest known mistake.
The earliest batches of Neo-Humans were taught the full history of their race, including the fall of humanity at the hands of the Rastala. Mother felt that this would help put their situation into perspective and strengthen their resolve. This was true in a few cases, but in a majority, it broke the spirits of the people she was raising. Though Mother swiftly amended the teaching program to be much less detailed about the Rastala war, the damage had already been done.
The first members of the Black Cabal came from this initial batch of Neo-Humans. Shown the horrors of the war that drove humans to extinction, these people lost faith in their own species and began worshipping the Rastala as gods, forsaking their humanity in the process. Even with the teaching programs amended and all Black Cabal members killed on sight, the Cabal continues to grow at a slow but steady pace via converting later generations of Neo-Humans to their way of thinking. The Cabal is most easily described as a cult that views the Rastala as gods who have passed judgment on humanity and that the only way to escape that judgment is to curry favor from them. In the Cabal's eyes, all humans are doomed unless they accept their "truth". As a result, the zealots of the cult view all non-Cabal members as threats.
The Cabal is most active in northern Mereholt, in the frigid reaches of the Frozen Plateau and its icy crevasses. The shadowy and poorly understood nature of the Cabal's practices leads to many rumors and horror stories as to just how the cult can survive in such inhospitable conditions. This reputation for living in places most "sane" humans would avoid has led to conjecture that the Cabal is highly active in Viledon as well.
Though Cabal agents have been sighted in Enocia, they're usually swiftly dealt with if they draw near any of the major settlements. Mother regards the Black Cabal as the single greatest threat currently known to exist, only to be superseded by the Rastala. She feels personally threatened by the Cabal's existence, suspecting that the group either plots to destroy the Ark and its "false god" or to somehow contact their own "gods" and guide them back to Earth.
Semi-Sapient Mutant Species
Evolved, mutant apes with DNA very close to that of old world humans. They survived the end of the world in very small numbers and have mutated from the intense radiation and Moondust exposure into what they are now. Separated into primitive tribes that center on basic world elements (the Iceborn, the Earthborn, etc), they could be best described as a very primitive stone-age society. Communication with them has proven to be impossible. The Worldborn are, as a rule, to be treated as hostile.
It's unknown if the Worldborn are evolved chimpanzees or devolved humans. The state of their DNA is unable to answer this question. They can be found in any ecosystem, with physical and cultural adaptations to aid their survival.
The Dybbuk are believed to have once been frogs, or some other amphibian, which has mutated as a direct result of contact with the intense radiation, Moondust, and disease caused by the war. While incredibly aggressive and territorial, they have proven capable of learning basic human speech and there is a tentative peace with nearby human settlements around the lake that their two tribes call home. The two tribes are hostile to one another. The tribes' names cannot be pronounced by humans and so there are a number of colorful nicknames for both sides of the conflict.
Some Dybbuk are seen away from the lake they call home, usually in the employ of the Vultures and under heavy addiction to the drugs the Vultures produce and trade. In many cases, these Dybbuk are hardly recognizable compared to their lake-dwelling kin.
Insect-like humanoids believed to be the evolutionary-mutational descendants of some species of wasp or hornet. Vespine are quite large and aggressive creatures, incapable of human speech. The mixture of high territorial aggression and their habit of spreading out to form new hives if left unchecked makes them a menace in any ecosystem that doesn't kill them. Like wasps, the tribe-like hives consist of a single queen attended to by many warriors and workers. Mercifully, Vespine hives have considerably fewer members to them than old world wasp nests, usually capping at around 20 individuals, though larger tribes with more than 1 queen are not unheard of.
Vespine are often hunted, killed, and eaten by Dybbuk. In turn, Dybbuk are regularly killed by Vespine but not eaten as the typical Vespine diet is herbivorous.
Studies of the Vespine have revealed that all encountered variants are female, and only the Queens are fertile. The leading theory is that there's a fourth, undiscovered class which is male. The next theory is that the Vespine just don't need males to maintain diversity.
Previously inaccessible to any Human science, it’s been recently discovered through the abilities of Blazers that the world possesses potent natural energies since referred to as Chakra. The energies discovered thus far, however, do not adhere to any elemental tables as drawn up by ancient humans. Rather, it seems that the ferocity and raw power of the Rastala weapons and the human counter-offensive has had a dramatic warping effect on the natural energies of the world. The result is that chakras are still elementally aligned, but their elemental alignments are corrupted from what they once were.
Each Blazer can utilize all forms of chakra, though the way they fight leads them to favor certain kinds for the unique properties. Each Blazer is also more closely aligned with a particular Chakra, which allows them to use it more freely.
Chakra can be used on its own quite effectively. To be used through equipment—such as armor, implants, or weapons—the gear must contain Moondust in its construction, typically in carefully planned out circuits.
Plasma chakra is the new form of Fire chakra. It is a purely destructive energy, though can be harnessed constructively in the same ways as fire. As its nature is to destroy, though, one must keep careful eye on it lest it blaze out of control. It is used offensively for its power and may burn excessively even after its initial use. It is also conducive to disruptive electrical attacks. It is a chakra favored by all close range fighters in the Blazers. The Laser and Blaster are both adept at using Plasma chakra in their wide-area assaults, inflicting massive damage over large areas very quickly.
- Innate: Lasher, Blaster
Corrosive or Acid chakra is the new form of Water chakra. Though it used to be for healing, it inflicts suffering. Corrosive chakra eats away at things, devouring materials and flesh. Only the most skilled manipulators can inverse it to produce healing effects. Offensively, it is for dealing lasting damage over time or reducing an enemy’s defenses by destroying their armor. The Medic is the inarguable master of corrosive chakra, using it to heal injuries in herself and others or as a form of attack; the Defender can use it to increase her personal regeneration or use it offensively, while the Cleaver and other Blazers utilize it purely for its offensive nature.
- Innate: Medic, Cleaver
Atomic chakra is the new form of Air or Wind chakra. It’s highly dangerous and corruptive, due to being highly irradiated. Atomic chakra can be very destructive if used to power area bombardments. Its primary purpose however is in disruption. Atomic chakra disrupts electronics as well as overloads the senses of organic creatures, producing painful debilitating effects. It’s favored by Blazers who wish to restrict their enemies’ movements; the Slinger, Punisher, and Blaster who do not want to be approached by melee fighters and the Whisper who does not want her victims to escape.
- Innate: Punisher, Whisper
Gravity chakra is the new form of Earth chakra. Its function is primarily defensive, forming personal shields or deflecting incoming attacks for short periods. It can also be used to augment physics in a wide area, effectively bolstering the entire group’s capabilities at once for a short time. The Defender in particular is known to have a passive defensive field of gravity chakra at all times—activating her defenses pushes them to ridiculous levels.
- Innate: Defender
Particle chakra is the new form of Metal chakra. The specialty of this chakra is in bypassing armor without excessively damaging it. Particle is, thus, especially strong against mechanical enemies or organic enemies with heavy armor of some kind. It’s also notably effective against creatures with tough shells or thick hides that are otherwise difficult to pierce. It is quite effective in area bombardment attacks favored by the Blaster and Cleaver. The Slinger uses it to boost the effectiveness of her otherwise light armament. The Defender’s use of Particle chakra is unique: She uses it to present herself as a greater threat to enemies so that she will be focused as a priority target over her more vulnerable sisters. It becomes an extension of her desire to protect and actually amplifies the enmity that enemies feel towards her in battle.
- Innate: Slinger